One of my favourite features of Facebook is the ‘On This Day’ one, when Facebook reminds you what you were doing that day in years gone by. I love it because quite often the memory of the moment that status went up, or that picture was taken almost transport me back in time emotionally and I can relive the memories of that day, the good and the bad memories – either way, it’s always a reminder of how far we have come.
This is how my life has played out on this day over the past 10 years according to Facebook.
On This Day Ten Years Ago:
I was apparently excitedly waiting for Grey’s Anatomy to start. I love Grey’s and still watch it, but this status reminds me that either I had nothing going on in my life ten years ago as exciting as Grey’s Anatomy (age 25), or I’m really old now (age 35) – check the end of this post for today’s status update.
On this day seven years ago, I landed back in Zimbabwe (with my cats) to start a new chapter in my life. I had been living in the U.K. for almost ten years and I was finally home. My husband had gone ahead of me, and we’d been apart for six weeks – he was waiting for me (and the cats). My parents were there, and everyone was super excited to welcome me home. It was so exciting. My status reads:
I’m in Zim. Cat’s made it too. We’ve already had a power cut, no water and the phone signal is crap, but it’s still good to be home.
On This Day Four Years Ago:
Is a beautiful picture of my last-born sleeping like an angel – she was 5 days old.what the picture doesn’t show was that I was at a real low point in my life. Let me provide some context …
We were living in Zimbabwe. My husband had just started a new job in SA and we were waiting for the baby to come, and then for her to be strong and healthy enough before we were due to join him in SA. He had arranged with his new employer to be in Zim with us for the week she was due, but as we know with babies this is never an exact science. Thankfully he was there – she arrived on Father’s Day. As is customary in Zimbabwe, you spend two nights in the hospital after natural birth. We were living two hours away from the nearest maternity hospital.
On this day I had been home with my new baby for two days, and my eldest had been sick and vomiting for about 24 hours. She’d already been separated from me for three days and as with most children when they are sick, she only wanted her mommy.
So after 24 hours of my eldest throwing up and wanting me, me trying to juggle a newborn’s demanding feeds, nappy changes and also try to keep the newborn away from her sick sibling so the baby didn’t get sick too, and the clock ticking down to my husband going back to SA in a few days, we decided he had to take my eldest to the Dr. The Dr was back in Harare – two hours away. The baby and I had to stay behind and I had to watch my husband drive off with my very sick eldest child, and there was nothing I could do.
The feeling of helpless surrender was awful. I’m her mother, I should have been with her when she was so sick, but the baby needed me more, and my husband was obviously more than capable of taking her without me – but it wasn’t right in my mind. I will never forget that moment when they drove away.
I went back inside the house and sat with my baby, crying, feeling like the worst mother in the world, and she fell asleep on my lap. That’s the picture I took. The sleeping angel who needed me more at that moment than my eldest who was safe in the care of her daddy. The picture that popped up on my Facebook timeline today. I feel it like it was yesterday.
I shouldn’t have felt like a failure, but I did. It was a crash course in mothering more than one child, although I’m pretty sure we’d have been okay without such a harsh lesson.
On This Day One Year Ago:
I was tagged in a few photos by a friend of mine, who happens to be a G.P. Coincidentally, I had to go see her this morning because my girls are BOTH sick and my eldest’s temperature spiked last night at 39.8. I was so worried.
Not only are my kids sick, but my cats (the same two who flew from the UK with me) have been vomiting for two days (cat vomit is super gross!); my washing machine broke and after cleaning out my bank account to have it fixed I’m now drowning in laundry; the electricity tripped about an hour ago, and through process of elimination I think it’s the dishwasher. Oh, and my husband is away 12 days down – 3 weeks to go.
If I were going to put a status update on Facebook today it would read like this:
Kids are BOTH sick. Cats are BOTH sick. Drowning in laundry. Electricity keeps tripping – think it’s the dishwasher. Husband Away. Is it Wine O’Clock yet?
If I were to take heed of the messages from the past surrounding the 21st of June, the messages for the future might look like this:
- Your husband is away a lot.
- Your eldest will be sick on this day.
- You move a lot.
- Your cats are probably past their ‘sell by’ date.
- You like Grey’s Anatomy but in terms of priorities, it’s been replaced by laundry.
- You will most likely need a big glass of wine by the end of the day.
Roll on wine o’clock.